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Poor lighting is deterring repeat business

Author: Richard Bevan
Published: October 26, 2017

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In August, we surveyed 300 of our Lighting Direct customers to find out how lighting has affected their past experiences when visiting hospitality venues such as a restaurants, bars, hotels, pubs or cafés.

Of those surveyed, 80% said that lighting had a negative effect on their experience, and nine out of ten went so far as to say bad lighting would be enough to put them off revisiting a venue in the future.

Restaurant-lighting
The main consensus for these consumers was that establishments are being too extreme with their
lighting in bid to try and create a particular type of atmosphere: Most guests complained that rooms were too dark; a third thought fixtures were badly positioned, and; 15% said the lighting was too bright.

It’s often said that we eat with our eyes, so the fact restaurants were consistently marked as the worst offending venues for bad lighting makes a lot of sense, as not being able see a dish - or read a menu - detracts from the overall dining experience somewhat.

Lyco’s MD, Charles Barnett commented on the research, saying “customers’ spend is typically higher in a restaurant than it might be in a bar, pub, or café and therefore the expectation to get things ‘just right’ is probably elevated. Secondly, there is a requirement to read a menu which would immediately highlight any problems with lighting.”

Getting the lighting ‘just right’, or in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ as we like to call it, is no easy task as there is no one-size-fits-all approach - even a restaurant chain with lots of experience in lighting design will face consistency challenges between sites, based on factors such as building size, the type of building, the amount of natural light coming in etc.

The research also revealed that 60% of people would be more likely to visit an establishment if they were given the option to adjust the lighting over their table to suit their own requirements, an innovation we refer to as ‘hypercontrol’. This is something we expect to be more common in 2018, as more restaurants and bars look to smart lighting as a way of providing innovative experiences for their guests.

Beyond lighting, there are many other factors that influence a customer’s decision to return to a particular establishment, but the market is so competitive that the winners will be the ones that not only listen to consumer feedback, but also act upon it.

For more information and to speak to one of our lighting experts about your next project, please contact us today.